Home | About | Donate

Confederacy of Dunces: Neoliberals Jump the Shark in The New York Times


Confederacy of Dunces: Neoliberals Jump the Shark in The New York Times

John Atcheson

While progressives won some changes during the recent gathering of the Unity Commission, the war for the heart and soul of the Party is still raging


Now more than ever:


The DEM party is DOA.


If the neoliberals win this war, many voters—denied a real choice once again—will continue to stay home on election day, allowing extreme right wing candidates to continue winning elections with a relatively small percentage of eligible voters.

The truth is the Dem Elites benefit from the very policies the Republicans enact. Sure, they are not in power, but they reap the benefits nonetheless.


On the other hand, caucuses are not very democratic. They are easily dominated by fractional interests. “Super delegates” are actually more democratic on the whole since they consist of popularly elected office holders. But so-called progressives do not trust popular participation.


John Atcheson “colluded” with Russia.


More nonsense from Atcheson. While it is critical that the general election be democratic there is no compelling need for a political party to chose its candidate democratically. The idea is get the best candidate. Look what happened to the Republicans when they selected Trump democratically. They wound up with a candidate who is trying to destroy democracy itself. There is a danger in populism and the populists on the right got Trump elected. I wish states would away with caucuses since if they are going to let the people vote on a candidate they should at least do it in more representative manner. Primary voting is much more representative as the polls are open all day and a voter doesn’t have to spend several hours at caucus which might not even be held in nearby location. Personally I think closed primaries make the most sense for choosing a nominee but open primaries are at least better than caucuses. Superdelegates don’t seem to matter. They always wind up voting for the candidate with most pledged delegates. It might be good to have some superdelegates just in case an unacceptable person such as Trump is nominated.


jesus, will you let this reprehensible party die by its own hand already?

Stop trying to change a tire on a vehicle without wheels.


Too bad the Democratic party needs an actual vote count to win elections. Otherwise, they could just do what they really want to do and require a minimum income to become a member. Hey, we don’t want any of those poor people and their populist sentiments stinking up the place.


Caucuses test the strength of the candidates’ supporters and their policies. It empowers the most passionate to work hard, too. They have second and third options as well. They’re unwieldy in large cities, as was the case in Portland, since all the voters went for Sanders and all Liberal Elites went for cocktails and the small plates in the VIP room.:wink::wink::wink:


It empowers passionate political activists, certainly, who may or may not be representative of the broader electorate. That may be the point, but it doesn’t make caucuses more democratic. If it were the case, why not call for caucuses to decide the general election? Elect Senators by state caucuses perhaps? That would really be closer to the founding fathers vision of political participation. Rule by a small minority who don’t have to plow a field, reap a crop, or work a full shift far from the caucus site.


The first act of Tom Perez was to gut the Rules Committee of progressive members and replace them with Clinton-Obama supporters. The Unity Commission’s recommendations now head to that very committee where, behind closed doors, they can drag the reform baby to the bathtub and drown it. When that happens, the corporate neolibs will have won the battle for the Democratic Party but lost the war for the soul of country. It will be our Kristallnacht, only in a subtle Amerikkkan style. The Reptilians will come out of the 2018 elections basically unscathed as progressives flee to third parties or just stay home. The Reptilians’ election night “mandate” will help accelerate the Amerikkkan decent into fascism and it will be the smoke and mirrors of the corporate Democratic Party helping to lead the charge.


It’s so inspiring to see the Dem party hacks working these threads on behalf of the DNC corporate sell-outs who destroyed the Democratic Party and lost to Trump. Rah rah rah, team!

Meanwhile, Atcheson is correct.


It is primaries that are not democratic anymore because no one has any assurance that the ‘results’ actually are what people voted. But in a caucus they can’t do that; the people at the caucus can see how many are there for each candidate and the people select who goes to the next level and thus which candidate gets delegates. But in a primary the party elites make all those decisions.

I find it amusing that when Clintonistas defend closed primaries their argument is that only party members should have a say, but then their argument against caucuses is that it limits the say to only committed party members willing to give up time to select their nominee.

Me? I’d like a mix. Open, transparent primaries with a verifiable paper trail, same day registration, and mail in voting. (Register by mail when you vote by mail.) Then a week later the caucus meet to determine who are the delegates to the next level based on the results of the primary- no party elites making those choices.


The Unity Commission is recommending a cut of about 400 delegates, which means they are suggesting that 60% of the current super delegates be cut.

Why that number?

Because they are suggesting that only elected Democratic politicians get to be super delegates. That means that 60% of the current super delegates are NOT elected Democratic politicians.

What are they then? They are big donors and lobbyists.

So the current system of super delegates is anything but democratic. It means big money and corporations are the majority of super delegates, big wigs never elected by anyone.


Working my way backwards through your claims, the 60% that are not elected office holders would include the party chairs and vice chairs from states and territories, including D.C. and Puerto Rico. The proposal would cut some or all of chairs and vice chairs. I could see reducing some others.

I actually participated in the caucus like process of California Assmbly Districts that voted delegates to the state convention, which in turn decides chair and vice chair. Pretty open and democratic. That should please you. But I suspect it won’t. Still, those are the processes one needs to engage in to counter money interests. Big money donors and and lobbyist have too much power. A reflection of that power is that they don’t put themselves up for delegates to conventions.

You want caucuses to decide, even if they are clearly fractional, because you don’t trust elections? Then what the hell is the point? I think that is simply an indication of the anti democratic sentiments of many on the left, who hold the general population in contempt.


Post deleted by user because I misunderstood what other poster wrote.



Does that mean we actually agreed on some point? I won’t hold it against you.


I am pleased you participated.

I am not pleased that the democratic results of the last caucuses in California were overturned by the state’s version of super delegates so a lobbyist against single payer was made chair instead of the pro single payer candidate preferred by the delegates selected in the caucus system.

No. I said that I want transparent, open primaries that can be trusted to decided how many delegates a candidate gets and a caucus system to decide who get to fill those delegate slots.

You said primaries were more democratic than caucuses and I countered that in a lot of cases they aren’t since there is no way to verify if the supposed results actually represent the voters while in caucuses the attendees verify it visually. I did not comment on your assertion that caucuses are a problem because they reduce participation. Silence is considered consent.

So my solution is to be sure that there are open, transparent, same day registration, and mail in voting primaries so we undo both your complaint about caucuses and my complaint about today’s versions of primaries.


We probably agree on many points. It’s just that the ones we disagree on are the ones we need to debate.

Yes, I agree with you on the founders not wanting a real democratic system.


Maybe Trump won because of people who voted for Jill Stein, a third party candidate with no chance of winning. Clinton’s losing margin in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania was smaller than the Jill Stein vote in each of those states. So the Stein voters and everyone else got a white supremacist authoritarian. I wonder if any Stein voters in those states regret their votes. .